The surf crashing on the beach softly penetrated the still night. The moon nearly in its first quarter with its neighboring stars shed their low radiance upon the sandy beach. Captain Jennings looked back towards the ocean. Not half an hour before, a US submarine had disembarked the officer and his nineteen raiders. After hitting the beach, the soldiers hid the rubber rafts inside the deep jungle brush that rose into the clear night a few yards from the beach.
"Is she still there Cap?" a young Sergeant Reynolds asked in a harsh whisper.
Jennings only shook his head. The submarine had penetrated deep into Japanese controlled waters to bring this small group of raiders here. The American boat had to remove all of its torpedoes save for those kept in the tubes in order to make room in the forward and aft torpedo rooms for the soldiers now lining the beach. The captain of the submarine would not have wasted time to ensure that the raiders had reached the beach safely before it dived. It would return in twenty-four hours to retrieve the raiders before returning to its base in Australia. More than likely it began to head out to deep waters as soon as Jennings and his army raiders motored a safe distance from the sub.
"Gather the men just inside those trees," Jennings ordered the sergeant.
"Yes sir," Reynolds said quietly his boyish face barely visible in the limited light expelled from the quarter moon.
The men gathered their supplies and all congregated in the area that the captain had indicated to Reynolds. When Jennings was reasonably sure that they were safe in the canopy and deep underbrush, he addressed the men in a low whisper. The nineteen raiders crouched low and huddled closely so that the captain would not have to make his voice more audible than necessary.
"Okay, boys you have been training for weeks for this mission, and now I am going to tell you where we are and what we are expected to do."
The excitement mixed with tedium on board the sub did little to ease the men's anxiety. Rumors spread that they were going to hit a major Japanese airbase in the Philippines or maybe free some POWs from the Japanese prisoner camps. Captain Jennings neither confirmed nor denied any of these stories. He was under strict orders not to reveal their true mission until they were actually on the beach.
"I know some of you believe that we are here to raid a Japanese controlled island. I'm now going to tell you that you are wrong," Jennings whispered.
Some of the men just looked on with stone expressions on their faces others showed obvious surprise. Jennings chuckled inwardly; these latter men would make terrible poker players.
"Lieutenant," Jennings nodded towards the one man who was not an American in the group. In fact, he was not strictly a fighting soldier but instead a chaplain.
"Right," Lieutenant Brodin whispered in a thick Australian accent. "Some of you have been wondering why an ANZAC chaplain was selected to join you. The answer is quite easy really.
"Before the war, I was a missionary on a nearby island. Now this island had a different group of missionaries that were German. I believe you can see where I am going with this.
"Though we are in Japanese controlled waters this island here is actually controlled by the Nazis and is believed to be a rendezvous point with the Japs."
"Our mission," Jennings took the over the conversation, "is to scout out what the Jerries have been up to. It is believe that they have a fortification not more than a few clicks from here.
"We are to sneak around and observe what the Jerries have been up to. If possible we are to make contact with the natives."
Jennings looked around the circle of soldiers in silence. He could read more puzzled faces than he did before. Finally, one soldier tentatively raised his hand to gain the captain's attention. Jennings nodded towards Private Williams.
"Sir, there are only twenty of us. Why didn't they send a larger force?" the private asked.
"First of all, the USS Nautilus and Argonaut are the only subs large enough to carry a large force and both are currently on another raid. Secondly, British intelligence and ours believe that the Jerries have left the island. I have also been assured that there isn't any Japanese presence."
"Military Intelligence," sniffed Corporal Vanders. "Now there's a contradiction in terms."
"Oxymoron," Williams whispered.
"What did you call me?" Vanders voice rose in a barely controlled whisper.
"Pipe down," Sergeant Reynolds ordered. "The private was just giving the proper name to what you described. A contradiction in terms is called an oxymoron."
"If the English lessons are over are there any other questions?" Jennings asked.
"Sir," Private Quaid began in a small voice, "What is the name of this island?"
The captain looked over towards the chaplain. Brodin cleared his throat before he spoke.
"This island here is called by the natives Na'h Tu Putalaki or translated -- The Island of the Dead."
The men began to grumble lowly before a stern look from Captain Jennings quieted every man. He could see that the high-charged soldiers who just a few minutes before were looking for action now began to dread their mission on an island with an ominous name.
"Relax mates; the island received its name over two hundred years ago because this is where the Portuguese had established a leper colony. It had long since stopped housing lepers and should be just like any other island in the South Pacific," Chaplain Brodin quickly offered.
"Alright, now that everyone has an idea of what needs to be done, let's get this show on the road," Jennings ordered. "As the corporal pointed out we should not rely too heavily on the intel report. So, we are going to do this by the books. Vanders, Pike, you guys have the point. Everyone else, follow me and keep your traps shut."
Corporal Vanders and Private Pike each carried the standard M-1 Garand as they took the lead. Captain Jennings looked down on his Thompson "Tommy" submachine gun. He slapped the 20 round box magazine home and primed the cocking handle. He carried another four magazines on his belt alongside his M1911A1 .45 automatic pistol.
Sergeant Reynolds carried the squad's M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR. This light machinegun could fire between 300 to 650 rounds per minute. However, its 20 round magazine box would quickly expend its .30-06 rounds long before that time was up. The sergeant also carried some spare magazines on his person.
The rest of the squad carried the M-1 Garand with its eight round internal clip and everyone carried at least two hand grenades and a bayonet. Jennings would have preferred to have his men carry the marine's KA-BAR knife but the army would have none of it. The captain remembered a Marine 2nd Lieutenant showing him the formidable knife and had to admit it was a weapon to be reckoned with.
Jennings could not see why a knife used by those self-propelled sandbags called Marines was insufficient for the army. After all this was a highly unusual squad formation. First of all, an NCO usually operated a squad and not an officer. This squad not only had a captain by also a lieutenant who not only belong to another country, but also was a chaplain to boot.
It made sense when the brass pointed out that Jennings had done some work with British Commandos against the Nazis, so his experience was invaluable for this mission. Lieutenant Brodin with his experience with the locals and the knowledge of the islands in this part of the world was also in great demand.
A slight breeze rustled through the palm trees refreshing the stalking soldiers with its cooling touch. Other than a few buzzing insects, no other animal noises greeted the raiders in the still night.
As the raiders cautiously crept down a well-worn dirt road, the breeze for a slight moment changed direction. In that instant, the over-powering smell of decay overcame the party. Men started to gag. Most were able to maintain control over their stomachs; however, a few heaved the contents of their innards into the surrounding foliage.
Fortunately, the wind quickly changed back and the fresh air rapidly erased the foul odor. Jennings started pulling his men back up off the ground mildly cursing them for their weakness.
"What the hell was that?" Reynolds asked near the captain's ear.
"Probably some dead animal in the woods," Jennings replied.
"Cap, I've grown up on a farm, and I know dead animals. That was like an entire heard of cattle rotting out there," the sergeant continued.
"It's not important to the mission. So forget about it. Help me get the men moving."
The squad was barely moving again when Private Pike came jogging down the road toward the party. Jennings motioned for the men to stay where they were while he approached the private.
"Captain, we found something strange up ahead," the boy panted.
"What did you find?" Jennings asked the winded private.
"We found an abandoned kubelwagen..." Pike said before swallowing. Jennings noticed that even in the low moonlight the private's face became noticeably whiter. Something had definitely shaken the lad.
"Okay take me to it," Jennings finally said motioning for the rest of the squad to follow.
Within a few minutes, the raiding party came upon the vehicle that Pike was referring. Corporal Vanders stood in front of the German light transport with his M-1 readied. On seeing Pike returning with the rest of the squad, Vanders relaxed.
The kubelwagen appeared to have veered off the road and entangled itself in the dense undergrowth of the surrounding jungle. The MG 34 machinegun mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle hung at an angle on its mount. The doors of the car were all flung open as if the occupants vacated the vehicle in a hurry.
"What do we have here Corporal?" Jennings enquired from Vanders.
"Sir, this is damned strange," the corporal began. "The MG 34 had been fired until it was empty."
Jennings noticed the spent 7.92 mm ammunition shells littering the floor of the kubelwagen. The captain still did not see anything particularly strange about this.
"Yes," Jennings prodded.
"Well, sir look at this," Jennings said as he slammed the rear door shut. The entire door and part of the vehicle's body revealed thick splotches of dried blood splattering painting its side.
Jennings was about to let the corporal know what he thought of his overactive imagination when one of the soldiers shouted out.
"OH MY GOD!!!"
Captain Jennings started cursing at the soldier for breaking silence when he noticed the man sitting beside the road with his helmet in one hand and he wiping the remnants of vomit off his face with the other.
In the underbrush not far from the kubelwagen lay the remains of a German soldier. The uniform was mere tatters upon a torn, ravaged and mangled body. Most of the muscle and organs were missing from the broken and scattered bones.
"What could have done that?" Sergeant Reynolds asked.
Private Quaid fanned his face in an effort to diffuse the rancid smell of the decomposing body.
"I think we found the source of that smell earlier," Quaid noted.
"I don't think so. First of all it was a lot stronger and secondly the wind was blowing from another direction at the time," answered the sergeant.
"Looks like the poor Kraut fell onto a grenade," Corporal Vanders contributed.
"Nah, look there's no scorching or shrapnel on the remains," Reynolds pointed out. "If I were to guess it looks like he was attacked by a pack of ravenous wolves."
"Alright, class time is over," Captain Jennings said harshly. "Whatever happened here, happened some time ago. We have a mission, so let's head out."
Sergeant Reynolds started ordering the men back into formation. Before long, the troop was again in motion down the dirt road. As the men moved along, all felt an ominous presence they did not experience before.
At one point, the raiders came across the remains of a native off the side of the road. The poor man's body was deep in decay with bullet holes riddling his body. His eyes upon death rolled back as if looking towards the single bullet wound in his forehead.
"Damn, if we keep coming across bodies like this, I doubt we'll ever make it to our destination," Private Driscoll joked trying to ease the burden of dread rapidly descending upon the raiders.
Several of the men began to mutter amongst themselves as they gathered around the corpse.
"Back into position," Reynolds said a little louder than he wanted. "We can't afford to study every body we come across."
The men were starting to comply when Quaid knelt down next to the native's rancid remains. Reynolds knew the captain was about to lose it with this group's lack of discipline, and they could not afford that when deep in enemy territory.
"Dammit Quaid get your ass back in formation!" hissed Reynolds.
"Sarge, look in his hand," Quaid said with a quiver in his voice.
Captain Jennings started to march towards the private with the intention of jerking the man up and administering a thorough chewing out. However, when Jennings stood over Quaid's shoulder he happened to look upon the native's left hand. Even the seasoned veteran Jennings sucked in his breath as his eyes noticed that the native grasped the torn arm of some unfortunate Nazis.
The torn gray uniform sleeve still covered most of the arm; however, it did not hide the bite marks and the torn flesh dangling from the appendage. A quick glance revealed that there was flesh corresponding to the arm still inside the native's half-open mouth.
"Okay," Captain Jennings said in a choked voice as he softly urged Quaid back into formation. "Let's move on. I want everyone quiet from here on out."
The captain moved closer to Lieutenant Brodin when the raiders resumed their march.
"Uh, Father?" Jennings asked in a low voice for only Brodin's ears. "Are these natives cannibals?"
The chaplain stopped for a moment before Jennings subtly urged him forward again. "No, the natives are very peaceful. They would never harm another human being."
That did not sit well with Jennings and Brodin read the expression on the captain's face. The chaplain thought of letting it go for a second before he decided he wanted to know what was disturbing the captain.
"What is it?" Brodin asked softly.
"Nothing," Jennings replied quickly.
"Come now, cobber. You saw something didn't you," the chaplain prodded gently.
"I'm thinking the natives may have rebelled and attacked the Nazis."
"Hmmm...that is bad. The poor people do not own any weapons save spears and knives."
"It is worse than that," continued the captain. "If they attacked the Gerries, the Nazis could be holed up in their fort and on alert. We'll have to be very cautious from here on out."
Captain Jennings dropped back and marched next to Sergeant Reynolds. Jennings shared his concerns with the noncom. Shortly afterwards, Reynolds started moving up and down the ranks of men ordering them to move with utmost silence and extreme caution.
The soldiers could not help feel that wan light from the moon was a mixed blessing. It allowed them to see somewhat in the oppressive darkness. Nevertheless, it also made them feel exposed to any prying eyes that may be on the lookout for unwelcome visitors.
Before long, the black silhouette of the fortress stood-out against the dark blue horizon. Captain Jennings had his men disperse into the jungle surrounding the hill upon which the Nazis fort sat. The hill's side was cleared from all obstruction be it plant or stone that may hinder the fort's view of the surrounding countryside.
Captain Jennings waved Reynolds over and laid out a plan for the sergeant to go forward with some scouts and reconnoiter the hillside. If the sergeant felt it was prudent, he could scout the fortress as well. Reynolds nodded his head and began moving among the men looking for those best suited for his assignment.
The scouts moved out on their mission. Captain Jennings could never get used to the feeling of letting his men go on such a dangerous mission without his direct control. However, his orders from his superiors were explicit on this point. They could not afford to lose Jennings with his experience and leadership on a recon mission. The captain needed to trust that he had trained the sergeant well enough to do his duty.
The seconds passed as if they were minutes and the minutes as if hours. The captain kept stealing glances at his watch. The watch showed that it had been fifteen minutes since the scouts left and so far no alarm. Either the men were doing a good job or the Nazis were able to subdue the men and were now silently hunting the rest of the raiders.
These thoughts did nothing to ease Jennings's mind. Nonetheless, he could do nothing until either Reynolds returned or the Germans exposed themselves. Jennings stole another glance at his watch when a loud mournful wail pierced the night.
Captain Jennings' blood froze in his veins as the wail sounded through the still night. Several of the men moved restlessly as the terrible cry having unnerved them. Many of the soldiers looked back towards Jennings for reassurance. The captain merely motioned for them to lie back down and remain silent.
It was not long after the inhuman wail died down that the scouts hurriedly returned to the raiders. Reynolds crawled over to where Jennings hid near some underbrush.
"Sergeant, is everything alright?" Jennings asked in a worried voice.
"Yeah, cap," the sergeant answered. "Everything's deserted. The fort's gates are shut, but there aren't any Krauts to be seen."
"Do you know what made that awful noise?"
"It weren't an alarm if that is what you are worried about. It came from the other side of the clearing. Damn near turned my blood to ice," Reynolds continued.
"Okay, get the men ready we are going to the fortress."
The fortress was the product of German pride. The thick stones for the walls and the heavy steel double doors of the gate came from the "Fatherland." It was painstakingly shipped and assembled here on this hilltop. A tattered red flag with a black swastika in a white circle danced in the breeze upon a metal flagpole.
The raiders met no resistance as they entered the compound. Even when they sent some men to scale the walls in order to open the heavy gate, there was not a soul to sound an alarm. Once the gates were open, the remaining raiders spilled in and the gates quickly closed behind them.
The men milled around the compound's courtyard. Discarded paper and a sundry of debris floated along the flagstones. There were a few motorcycles, a kubelwagen and even a stout Opel Blitz truck parked in the courtyard in front of the huge manor of the fortress. The towers resting atop the wall still housed new MG42 machineguns and the searchlights used for the defense of the fortress.
The fortress obviously appeared abandoned. However, Jennings did not take any chances. Sergeant Reynolds and the bulk of the raiders would stay in the courtyard taking up defensive positions while Jennings would take the remaining men to search through the manor.
The search of the manor was relatively uneventful. The small search party did not encounter any Germans or for that matter another living soul. The men moved methodically from room to room, up and down stairs, and through hallways unmolested.
Three of the rooms caught Jennings attention. The first was the generator room. After making sure nothing was booby-trapped and that everything was in working order, Jennings gave the order to start up the gasoline generator. In a flash of brilliance, the lights of the manor came to life.
The soldiers who were used to the dark had to cover their faces until their eyes adjusted. The party left in the courtyard felt a moment of dread. They feared that the Germans had appeared from their hiding places and were now bathing the courtyard in light to locate the raiders. A friendly "hello" from a window by one of the scouts put them at ease.
The second room of interest was the armory. Strangely enough, the door was unlocked and left ajar. Though much of the stores were missing, there remained a substantial amount of weapons and munitions. The Germans evidently were prepared to defend their small island from all invaders.
The third room of interest puzzled Captain Jennings. The steel door refused to budge apparently locked from the other side. The small embrasure also resisted any attempt at opening it from this side. However, the most intriguing part about the door was the single word hastily painted upon it in crude lettering.
"Say Captain, what do you suppose ‘untoten' means?" Private Williams asked.
Jennings' German was good, however he did not ever recall coming across this word before. The captain stared at it for a while before giving up. He shook his head. "I don't really know," he replied after a long silence. "The root ‘tot' means dead."
"Ah, man. You think we found their morgue?" Quaid asked further down the hall his M-1 ready for action.
"Only one way to find out, let's get some explosive from the armory. We'll blow the door down," Jennings said leading the men back towards the armory. "Driscoll you better get to the sergeant and inform him we are going to be making some noise here."
In a matter of minutes, Jennings had expertly place the explosives. In a cloud of flame and smoke, the door flew off its hinges. As the thunder echoed down the hall, the soldiers uncovered their ears and slowly approached smoke-filled opening. The captain halted the curious men and motioned for them to have the weapons ready.
Leading the way Captain Jennings poked his head into the now open and still cloudy room with his Tommy gun ready for action. He coughed a couple of times and waved the smoke and dust away from his face with his free hand until enough of the air cleared to grant him an unobstructed view. There in the middle of what appeared to be a laboratory with cluttered tables full of jars and test tubes lay the body of a man in a lab coat.
The smell of the decomposing body in the tropically warm room was staggering. Covering his nose and mouth with a cloth, Captain Jennings entered the laboratory. He knelt down and examined the body after waving away the thick swarm flies feasting on the corpse.
A syringe resting in the remains of the corpse's right hand and the rolled up sleeve on the left arm left no doubt on how this man died. It was obviously self-inflicted. Why this man wanted to kill himself Jennings had no clue.
Finished with his examination the captain started a cursory search of the large lab. There were biological diagrams of the human body plastered on the labs walls. On a blackboard against one wall were notes scribbled in barely legible German. Against the wall opposite the entranceway the soldiers just blasted were three sets of doors.
Captain Jennings opened the first door and discovered the lab's closet. Shelves lined the walls storing various chemicals, solutions, and scientific equipment. The captain dragged the dead German into the closet and closed the door.
The soldiers waiting outside also covered their noses and tentatively entered the lab. They moved around looking at the diagrams, studying the Bunsen burners and lab equipment, and puzzled over the German writings on the blackboard. They were all careful not to touch anything.
Jennings tried the second door which led to a large white room. The porcelain tiled room contained hospital beds lined up in neat rows. Each bed had leather restraining straps dangling from their sides. Dark bloodstains covered every bed sheet.
Large gray metal cabinets lined a far wall where a desk and chair resided. Captain Jennings moved over to the desk and searched through the papers scattered upon its surface. The German papers contained mostly formulas and the like and the captain could comprehend little of it.
The drawers contain several notebooks and journals. Jennings quickly paged through them to find something -- anything that may give him a clue as to what once transpired in the laboratory. Like the papers on the desk, most dealt with formulas and theories that meant little to Jennings.
However, in one locked drawer, which the captain was able to force open, he discovered a black journal. It belonged to the head scientist -- a Doctor Friedrich von Jutt. Jennings stashed it away in his rucksack for later research.
The captain was about to search the metal cabinets when he heard one of his men call out, "Hey cap, you got to look at this!"
Jennings rushed out of the white room back into the lab. He found the soldiers huddled around the third door. They were in hushed conversation as they felt and knocked on the heavy steel door.
"What is it?" Captain Jennings asked.
Private Pike turned towards the captain and pointed towards the thick door reinforced with thick rivets. "Looks like they didn't want anyone to get in," the private said. "Look, it's as reinforced as the front gates and it has been welded shut."
Jennings noticed that the seams of the door had indeed been welded shut from this side of the room. As the captain moved closer for inspection the men pulled back to give him room.
"Cap?" Private Williams asked. "What kind of bunker is an unterseeboot?"
Jennings looked at the small metal plate the private indicated and noticed that it did say ‘unterseeboot-bunker'.
"That's a U-boat you idiot," Pike replied.
"Looks like the Jerries had themselves an underground submarine pen," Captain Jennings said. "It also looks like they did not what anyone to follow them."
"Should we check it out?" Quaid asked. "We still have plenty of explosives in the armory."
"No, we have what we need here," replied Jennings. "Plus, I doubt there would be anything of interest down there anyway. I'm sure the Jerries have already left in their U-boat."
Feeling that the manor was secure, Jennings divided the men into shifts. Those on duty manned the towers and worked on the vehicles to make sure they were operational. Those not working a shift either slept or explored the manor. The only area off limits was the lab where Captain Jennings set up shop.
Lieutenant Brodin entered the lab where the captain was reclining in a chair reading the black journal. The smell of death hung in the muggy air and the ANZAC chaplain had to fight against his retching stomach.
"You wanted to see me," the chaplain choked out.
Jennings deep in the book jerked up and focused on Brodin. "Sorry, I guess I was a little to caught up in my research." The captain motioned the chaplain over to a chair next to where he was sitting. "I've come across some interesting details about what our friends were doing on this rock.
"The man we found here was a certain Doctor Friedrich von Jutt. Ever hear of him?" The chaplain shook is head as he settled down in the wooden chair. "The Germans themselves call him Todesengel, or the Angel of Death. Evidently, he was working on a project called the ‘Uber-soldat' or Super-soldier."
The chaplain rested his chin on his steepled fingers while he listened to Jennings narrative. Brodin did not know if the captain was confessing something or just needed someone in which to confide his findings. Either way listening came with the job.
"Do you know much about the Japs?" Jennings asked.
"Some," Brodin responded. "Being a missionary in the South Pacific has given me some background into the Japanese. I have even picked up some of the language."
"Good," Jennings nodded. "I will need your help with some things here. I've been reading von Jutt's journal and it looks like the Jerries have had some help from the Japs.
"Apparently, the Japanese were cooperating in the Uber-soldat formula research. Have you ever heard of...?" Jennings flipped back a few pages in the journal until he found the passage he was looking for. "Ah, here it is. Have you ever heard of the Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory?"
Lieutenant Brodin almost fell out of his chair on hearing the name, "My God!" the chaplain blanched, "Unit 731!"
"So you have heard of them," Captain Jennings said. "I take it they are bad news."
Chaplain Brodin nodded as he reseated himself. "You know the stories about Germany and their experiments on humans."
Now it was Captain Jennings turn to nod his head, "I've interviewed survivors. I can tell you they are not stories."
"Well, Unit 731 makes the Nazis look like Boy Scouts," the chaplain continued. "I had several missionary friends in Manchuria when the Japs invaded as well as in Nanking. The acts of the Japanese soldiers themselves were cruel and inhumane.
"However, it is pure unadaltered evil what Unit 731 practiced. The stories will make even your blood run cold." Brodin stopped and waved his hand to forstall any questions Jennings may want to ask. His head slumped down to his chest as he focused on the floor for a couple minutes before resuming his conversation in a low voice. "Captain, if the Japanese sent some support help here from Unit 731 there was something dark and terrible going on here indeed."
Jennings set the journal down on a lab table as he rose from his chair. "Father, I found this in a cabinet." Jennings picked up a film canister and prodeeded to open it. "I haven't watched this yet so I do not know what it contains. Unfortunately, the only writing is in Japanese can you read it?"
Brodin stood up and walked over to the film canister's lid. The chaplin glanced at it and nodded his head. "It simply says 'Log'".
Captain Jennings was busy feeding the film into a nearby projector aimed at a clean white bed sheet pinned to the opposite wall. Jennings stopped in midmotion when he heard the chaplain.
"Log?" Jennings asked. "I don't get it. Like a journal, or like wood?"
Brodin returned to his chair again and looked mournfully at the captain. "Like what the Japanese refer to their Chinese victims."
"I'm going to see what is on this film. I believe it will be pretty gruesome. Maybe you should leave."
Brodin shook his head, "No captain. I don't think you should see this alone."
Brodin turned his chair so that he could see the bed sheet better. Captain Jennings walked over to the wall and flipped off the lights before returning to the projector. With the flip of a switch the machine hummed to life as the black and white images played upon the sheet.
The silent flickering motion picture showed Doctor von Jutt with some Japanese doctors strapping a young nude native woman to a bed. Jennings instantly recognized the room as the one with the porcelain tiles.
The girl struggled fiercely against her captors, however there were too many of them and they easily confined her to the bed. Still fighting against her restraints, von Jutt plunged a syringe into a glass vial. He slowly withdrew the amount of liquid he desired and then pulled out the needle. A slight stream of liquid shot into the air as von Jutt removed the air from the syringe.
Turning his back towards the camera the doctor approached the flailing girl on the bed. Two of the Japanese assistants restrained an arm as von Jutt submerged the needle into the girl. He emptied the contents of the syringe into her bloodstream.
The camera panned up towards a clock showing it was ten minutes after twelve before cutting to black. The film resumed with the camera again showing the clock however this time it was now two-thirty. The cameraman moved the camera down towards von Jutt who motioned towards the native girl.
Even in the black and white film Jennings and Brodin could see that the girl lie motionless in death. Jennings did not get it. How was there anything new in poisoning a girl. The camera zoomed in on the girl as she lay rigid in death and worked its way towards her face.
"Captain Jennings!" Sergeant Reynolds shouted as he burst into the room.
Jennings instinctively shut off the projector and walked towards the wall to turn the lights back on.
"What is it sergeant?" Jennings inquired blinking as the light came to life.
"There is a native approaching the gate," Reynolds said. "Maybe Lieutenant Brodin would like to talk to him."
Brodin stood up blinking as his eyes readjusted to the light. "Indeed I would, mate."
The three men made their way out to the compound. The sun was high in the clear blue sky. Jennings looked at his watch it was one o'clock. He did not realize he had been up so long working on the doctor's journal.
All of the soldiers now lined the wall near the gate curiously peering down upon the native. Jennings, Brodin, and Reynolds soon were beside them also looking down on the newcomer.
Brodin started speaking to the native in a strange tongue. The native only stood there with his mouth agape. Brodin shouted towards the man louder. This time the native moved in a jerking fashion and looked up towards the chaplain with film covered eyes.
"My God, he's in rough shape," Corporal Vanders said. "The man is literally falling apart."
"He must have leprosy," Brodin replied. "Captain Jennings, I need to go out and speak to him personally. He may think we are Nazis."
Jennings gave the order for the men to open the gates wide enough for Brodin to exit. The chaplain quickly squeezed through the narrow opening and approached the native with his arms out and palms up in a gesture of greeting.
Again Brodin spoke to the man in his native tongue. The native shuffled over towards Brodin and reached out his arms. Once he was within range the native grabbed Brodin's arm and pulled him close.
Before the chaplain could react the native raised Brodin's hand to his face and bit down hard into it. The chaplain screamed in pain as his blood covered the native's face.
Brodin jerked his wounded hand from the native's bloody mouth. Before the chaplain could turn and rush back to the gate the native again grabbed ahold of Brodin trying to take another bite.
A sharp crack split the air as the native fell backwards. Brodin broke free of the native's grasp and rushed back to the gates only briefly looking over his shoulder to see the man lying dead with a single bullet wound in his forehead. The heavy steel doors slammed shut behind Brodin.
Once behind the security of the fortress' walls Brodin inspected his wounded hand. Other than a hunk of skin being bitten off, the chaplain's left hand was relatively intact. The blood flowing freely from the wound poured down Brodin's green uniform sleeve turning it black.
Corporal Vanders rushed up to the chaplain with his medkit ready. Brodin winced as Vanders cleaned the wound and applied a bandage. The blood oozed through the compress and wrappings the corporal hastily applied.
"You may want to hold your had above your heart to help ease the flow of blood," the corporal offered.
"Thanks," was all the chaplain could say. His legs started to shake as the adrenaline started to wear off.
"Sorry Father," Reynolds called out as he decended the stairs from the wall with smoke still whisping out of muzzle of the M-1 the sergeant borrowed from a nearby soldier. "That man must have been crazy. Do you think he had leprosy?"
"No doubt about it sarge," Vanders replied. "That man stinks like the dead. Must have cooked his brain too -- for him to attack the padre like that."
Brodin sat down upon an empty wooden crate near the gate. He looked down upon his wounded hand. The burning sensation of the antiseptic still pulsated in his hand. Slowly the chaplain started to recover and looked around at the soldiers looking down upon him from the walls of the fortress.
Captain Jennings ran over and put his hand upon the chaplain's shoulder. "Don't blame the sergeant for killing the native. He did so on my orders."
Brodin nodded his head and looked up at the sergeant. "Thanks," was again all the chaplain said. Brodin finally regained his feet and walked over to Reynolds. "You very well may have saved my life. Don't feel bad, mate. It's like the corporal said, the leprosy must have affected his brain."
"Sarge! Cap!," Private Driscoll cried from the wall. "You better get up here!"
Jennings and Reynolds ascended the stone steps to the wall rapidly. They could not but help notice that every soldier on the wall was leaning over its side and pointing out towards the jungle.
Captain Jennings looked out towards where Private Driscoll was indicating. At the base of the hill on the verge of the thick junglescape several human forms appeared out of the foliage. It was obvious to everyone that they were natives and they were all heading towards the fort.
There must have been hundreds of them emerging from the jungle. All walked in a slow stiff shuffle. Some had their arms raised out towards the stone walls of the fort as if they wanted to embrace the German structure.
"They are walking pretty strange, sir," Williams noted. "What do you think is wrong with..."
Before the private could finish his sentence the wind briefly changed, and it blew a foul stench of decay over the fort. It was emanating from the islanders. In that brief moment, several of the raiders again battled with their stomachs to keep its contents in place. A few lost the battle.
Reynolds holding his nose turned towards the captain. "Sir, that is the smell we encountered last night."
Captain Jennings only nodded as he kept his jaws clempt tight in an effort to force the bile raising in his throat back to his stomach.
Again the wind mercifully returned to its original course washing the air clean of the foul odor. Some of the soldiers regained their feet. Holding their noses, others were wiping the remains of vomit off their faces. All were as pale as a newly washed bed sheet.
Lieutenant Brodin still holding his wounded hand stepped up beside the captain looking briefly at the mass of decrepit humanity ascending the hill towards the fortress. The chaplain's face turned a deep red and a vein started to pulsate on his temple.
"They did it!" Brodin yelled losing his temper. "Those yellow bastards did it!"
Captain Jennings spun the chaplain towards him so that they could look at each other face to face.
"What are you talking about?" the captain asked.
Brodin thrust his arm out towards the natives shuffling up the hill. "The Japs must have created a new highly contagious form of leprosy and infected the natives!"
"That doesn't make sense," Captain Jennings said more to himself than to the chaplain.
"Nothing those sadistic bastards from Unit 731 makes sense," the chaplain shot back.
"No, I mean why come up with a new disease when their goal was to develop some kind of super-soldier?" Jennings replied still working out his thought process.
"Cap, what are your orders?" Sergeant Reynolds interrupted.
Jennings looked back down towards the growing crowd of natives making their way towards the fortress. "As long as we are in here they don't pose a threat. We'll try and speak to them when they approach closer. One of them has to be coherant enough to communicate with us."
The sergeant started pulling men from the wall and prodding them back to their duties. Those off duty went back to spend what little leisure time they had remaining before it was their time to relieve those on duty.
Jennings finally calmed the fuming chaplain down. Brodin descended the stairs towards the courtyard rubbing his wounded hand in agitation. The captain just remained on the wall trying to puzzle out why the Japs would infect the island with leprosy. Maybe it was some form of cruel revenge in retaliation for the failure of discovering the Uber-soldat formula the captain reasoned.
After a couple of more minutes of deep thinking Captain Jennings also returned to the courtyard to find the chaplain. He passed a soldier smoking a cigarette and reading a pulp-magazine that the raider brought along to help him relax.
The captain smiled as he glanced at the cover of the magazine. An illustrator had drawn and painted for the cover a ghastly ghoul reaching out towards the reader with the story's title emblazoned in blood underneath the macabre picture.
Jennings was in mid-chuckle when a memory came rushing back. A deep frown of horror struck his face as he started running back towards the manor.
The chaplain felt the captain brush by him in a hurry. "What is it?" Brodin yelled towards the captain's back.
"If I'm right they do not have leprosy!" Jennings yelled over his shoulder before entering the stone manor.
Chaplain Brodin hurried after the captain paying little heed to the pain burning and pulsating in his wounded hand. He was finally able to catch up to the American officer inside the laboratory. Jennings was down on his knees upon the broken down steel door furiously wiping away the dust covering it.
The chaplain for the first time saw the German graffiti painted on it. Jennings looked at the Chaplain and pointed down towards the word.
"I couldn't figure it out before," Jennings rapidly explained. "I've never came across this word before. I knew the root of the German word 'tot' meant dead. But this says 'untoten'. When I saw that magazine with the title 'The Undead Strike' I figured it out. This word is German for Undead!"
Captain Jennings stood up and grabbed Brodin by the shoulders. "The Germans succeeded. They found their Uber-soldat formula! They have made all the islanders undead."
Brodin stared at the captain for a while before scratching his head. "I'm sorry cobber, but you've lost me. What is undead?"
Jennings ushered Brodin back to his chair in the laboratory facing the bed sheet pinned on the wall. The captain wound the film in the projector back a little and then he flipped off the lights.
The sheet again showed the film. It was playing what it was before they were interrupted. The image of the camera zooming in on the face of the dead girl on the bed played before their eyes.
Suddenly the girl's eyes flung open and she stared up towards the camera. In a fit of rage the girl started thrashing her head biting and gnashing towards the camera. The camera operator turned towards Dr. von Jutt. The German scientist known as the Todesengel was beaming with pride. Several of the Japanese doctors began shaking hands with each other and von Jutt before the film suddenly finished.
Captain Jennings flipped the lights on again. Brodin was rubbing his eyes in mixture of disbelief and readjustment to the light.
"That girl was dead, right?" Brodin began.
Captain Jennings nodded, "And they brought her back."
"But she wasn't alive," Brodin noted, "she was..." The chaplain desperately tried to grasp for the correct word.
"She was undead," Jennings supplied the word.
"That means at this very minute we are being surrounded by..." Before Brodin could finish Jennings was outside the lab yelling for Reynolds.
The sergeant was not long in running towards the captain.
"Sergeant, call the men to arms. Start distributing any weapons in the armory. Make sure they know how to use the Stielhandgranate," Jennings rapidly started ordering.
"Cap, the what?" Reynolds asked.
"Sorry, those stick grenages, ah the 'Potato Mashers'," Jennings rapidly explained. "We need to make sure those vehicles down in the courtyard are working and we need to start gathering all the stuff in this lab."
"Yessir!" the sergeant replied and started to run down the hall. However before he went far he turned back towards the capain. "Sir, what exactly are we preparing to fight?"
"Those natives are a German experiment."
Jennings with Brodin and Reynolds present held a brief war council in the lab. There were still several hours before the submarine would return the raiders. Every minute also brought more of the undead natives to the walls of the fortress. The raiders would have to remain in the fortress until it was time to rush for the beach.
The remaining contents of the German armory was distributed among the soldiers who were now lining the wall of the fortress. All the raiders had makeshift masks over their nose and mouth to help stifle the malignant smell of human decay. They now more resembled bandits from the Old West than they did US Army personnel.
The raiders received a quick lesson in operating the Karabiner 98k bolt action rifle. Jennings felt it wiser to expend the German munitions before using up the vastly more limited supplies of the US make. Until sundown the soldiers would try to reduce the numbers of undead at their doorsteps by shooting at them. This would give the soldiers something to do and give them the practice. They were going to need it once they broke free of the fortress.
A few barrels of gasoline were hauled up to the walls to be held ready for when the breakout was imminent. The soldiers not on the wall rapidly began gathering all important material dealing with the Uber-soldat formula and packed it into the Opel Blitz truck.
Jennings grabbed a satchel and started to pack von Jutt's journal, the film, and some of the notebooks into it. This he decided he would trust only upon his person. The constant crack of rifle fire started as soon as Sergeant Reynolds finished the lessons.
Jennings climbed the stairs to the wall to survey the results the men were having. The MG42's in the towers opened up rapidly firing their 7.92mm rounds into the mass of walking dead below. The results were less than satisfactory. Though the machineguns' rounds would tear a decayed limb off a native, it did not put one out of action.
The men with the bolt-action Karabiner 98k rifles were having better results. Mainly as they were learning, only a shot to the head would effectively disable an undead person. With this lesson in hand, Jennings gave orders that the men were to take their time and aim for the head.
The captain descended the stairs again to help with the loading of the trucks. As Jennings reached the courtyard, he noticed Brodin sitting upon some crates with his head in his hands.
"Father, are you alright?" the captain asked.
The chaplain looked up with sweat pouring from his brow towards Jennings. "Yes, I am just feeling a bit ill right now."
"You look pale. When we get you to the sub we'll have them give you some stuff to help you out."
Brodin only nodded his head unconsciously rubbing his wounded hand wrapped in a blood-soaked bandage.
Without warning, an unholy wail cut through the air. The unnerving alarm even overpowered the continuous crack of the rifles on the wall. Again, as it did the previous night Jennings felt a chill run up and down his spine.
As suddenly, as it began the alarm died off. Captain Jennings quickly leapt from where the chaplain was resting and returned to the wall.
"What the hell was that?" Jennings yelled to Reynolds who was still firing into the mass below them.
"One of those bastards still had a good set of lungs," Reynolds replied never taking his eye off the task of shooting the undead natives gathered below him.
"Cap, look!" Corporal Vanders, who was standing a few positions down from Reynolds, motioned out towards the jungle. Jennings followed the man's flailing arm to see hordes of undead marching out of the jungle in an endless stream.
"Oh my God!" Jennings exclaimed. He could not help but notice as the few hundred undead were now becoming thousands as reinforcements arrived. Even a few undead German and Japanese soldiers were in the mix.
"Sir," Reynolds shouted over the din. "We cannot keep up this barrage forever. We will run out of ammunition."
Jennings looked towards the west to see the sun was finally starting to dip into the ocean. However, once the raiders left the safety of the walls they would be vulnerable to the growing horde of undead.
"We have to stay here as long as possible!" Jennings shouted back. "Slow down your fire and make every shot count!"
"Yessir!" the sergeant responded as he broke away and started running down the wall issuing the orders to the men.
The mass of undead tried to approach the walls of the fortress. However, the bodies of their fallen comrades acted as obstacles to the clumsy undead trying to climb the hill. As they tripped over the bodies, they tended to roll down the hill knocking over more undead.
The unearthly moans mingled with the constant crack of the rifles and the semi-steady bursts from the machineguns. The sky fittingly turned a blood-red hue as the sun disappeared over the horizon.
As the sky deepened to a deeper blue, the guard towers switched on the searchlights to help the exhausted soldiers find their targets. The undead mesmerized by the lights tended to stop and stare into the blinding beams. This helped the men reduce the undead further.
"Captain," Private Pike said urgently behind the captain. "The padre is looking pretty bad."
Jennings rushed down the stairs again with the private following behind. The captain noticed that the truck was fully loaded with several crates and barrels. However, there was still enough room to carry several men in the back.
Chaplain Brodin lay prostrate upon the ground in a delirious state. Sweat covered his face and his bloodshot eyes darted back and forth as the chaplain moaned and uttered incoherently.
"Private, get him in the kubel. We will be leaving shortly. Do anything you can to ease his distress."
"Yes sir!" Pike snapped as he lifted the sick chaplain into the backseat of the kubelwagen."
The firing on the wall was starting to slacken as the men were starting to deplete their remaining rounds. The captain looked at his watch; it was time to begin the evacuation.
Jennings again ran back up the stone stairs to the wall. He located the sergeant and grabbed his arm.
"Okay, start getting the men into the vehicles and let's try to open a path from the gate," Jennings ordered.
Reynolds nodded and started pulling the men from their firing positions. Most of the men descended towards the courtyard and began piling into the vehicles. Those few that remained on the wall began lifting the drums of gasoline and pouring the contents over the side thoroughly dousing the undead below. Once the barrels were nearly empty, the soldiers tossed them over the side. They watched intently as the barrels rolled down the hill and dispensed their remaining fuel among the throng of undead.
Once finished with their task, these soldiers too retreated to the courtyard and climbed into either the truck or the kubel. Jennings, Reynolds, and Vanders were all that remained on the wall. The captain reached down, grabbed a 'Potato Masher', and flung it over the wall. The sergeant and corporal followed suit.
The three explosions burst in rapid succession and limbs flew in the air simultaneously as the gasoline soaked undead burst into flames. Fire surrounded the wall and spread down the hillside following the path of the fuel barrels. Once it reached the source of the gasoline, the barrels too exploded rocking the night air.
The three men ran down the stairs. Jennings jumped behind the wheel of the Opel Blitz and revved the engine to life. Reynolds and Vanders threw the gates open and ran to the motorcycles. Before the two noncoms were on their bikes, Jennings gunned the truck out the steel gate. The kubel followed close behind with the two motorcycles bringing up the rear.
The two-ton truck burst through the burning debris knocking over any undead still lucky enough to be standing. The men in the back would take the occasional pop-shot at any undead they could view in the wavering light. Private Williams driving the kubel followed the truck as closely as he dared. Vanders and Reynolds weaved their motorcycles as best they could around the burning corpses lining the road.
The scant light emanating from the truck's headlights soon ceased as the constant collision with bodies soon broke them both. Driving as fast as he dared, Jennings drove down the road into the jungle. It was not far into the jungle before the undead thinned out and the driving became easier.
In the kubel Private Pike washed the chaplain's face with a rag wetted with the water from his canteen. Private Driscoll rested Brodin's head on his knees as Williams followed the truck. Private Quaid in the passenger seat would look back occasionally to check on the chaplain.
"How's the padre doing?" Quaid asked.
"Not good. If we don't get him help soon I'm afraid he will die," Pike answered worriedly.
Jennings slowed the truck down to a safer speed. The undead were behind them and it would not be long before they were on the beach. The men would quickly transfer their cargo into the rafts and then they would be safely in the submarine.
Williams concentrated on driving. He stared ahead and closely followed the truck. When the Opel Blitz slowed down Williams had to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending the truck.
"Dammit, Williams!" shouted Pike from the backseat. "Are you trying to kill the padre?"
Before Williams could issue an apology, Driscoll solemnly broke in, "He's already dead."
The four men in the kubel all cursed inwardly. Pike reached over and closed the chaplain's dead-staring eyes before laying the wet cloth over Brodin's face.
"I guess he's in a better place now," Pike said.
"Man, are you kidding. He's a priest," Quaid said incredulously. "He's got a one-way ticket to heaven."
Driscoll reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He stuffed one between his lips before passing the pack around to his companions. Each man grabbed a smoke.
"Thanks," Pike said. "I hope you have something to light these with."
"You bet. I've got a lucky lighter I always carry," Driscoll replied.
"What makes it so lucky?" Quaid asked.
"It always lights on the first try," Driscoll responded. To prove his point the private flipped the lid and the lighter flickered to life only to have a gust of wind extinguish it.
Quaid laughed, "Lucky lighter indeed."
Driscoll frowned, "Hey, it lit. It just blew out from the wind."
The private flipped the lid again and this time the flame resisted the wind to ignite the end of Driscoll's cigarette. After a quick deep puff that deepened the red glow of his smoke, Driscoll offered the lighter's flame to Quaid.
"Thanks, after everything today I really need this," Quaid responded as he brought his cigarette to life.
Driscoll then reached over towards Pike who anxiously awaited the lighter. As the flame passed over the chaplain's corpse, Pike noticed that the wind had blown the rag aside revealing Brodin's face. The soft flickering glow of the lighter bathed the chaplain's face; Pike dropped his cigarette when Brodin opened his eyes.
"You dumb-ass. He's still alive!" Pike shouted gleefully.
"What!?!" Driscoll exclaimed.
Quaid turned around in time to watch Brodin sit up straight and look around.
"Take it easy padre," Quaid said before he noticed the chaplain's dead eyes turn towards him. "OH Shi..." Quaid started to cry before Brodin reached up, pulled himself up to Williams, and bit him on the neck.
The unlit cigarette in Williams' lips flipped through the air as he screamed out in pain. Blood spurted from his neck and he unconsciously stomped down on the accelerator. Pike and Driscoll wrestled with the undead chaplain in the backseat as Quaid reached for his rifle.
The light kubel burst forth in a fury of speed before colliding with the back of the Opel Blitz truck. The men in the truck screamed in horror as they tumbled out the back. Jennings felt the German truck lurch forward and before he could hit the brakes, the vehicle lost the road and smashed into a tree.
The kubelwagen crumpled upon itself as it slid under the truck's rear, burying itself under the Opel Blitz. The sudden accident caught Corporal Vanders by surprise and the corporal crashed into the back of the kubel killing him instantly. Only Reynolds, who stayed back a ways to act as rear guard had time to react and was able to lay the motorcycle on its side causing both man and vehicle to tumble until they both came to a rest upon the wreckage.
Steam hissed from the truck's ruined radiator. Jennings shook his head; miraculously, he had only bumped his head upon the steering wheel opening a gash in his forehead. The captain wiped the blood out of his eyes and looked over at the two men beside him who were now laying dead halfway out the windshield.
The captain fought to open his door, which finally acquiesced after some kicking and shoving. Jennings stumbled out into the night air. In the scant moonlight, he surveyed the wreck. Underneath the truck's rear, the kubel sat buried with its occupants. A few of the men that were in the back of the truck were lucky enough to be picking themselves off the ground. Some had broken bones others were just stunned.
Out of the dark, Sergeant Reynolds staggered over to the captain. "What happened?" the sergeant asked.
A groan from the kubel captured their attention. The captain and sergeant moved to the back of the truck and looked underneath. There helplessly pinned in the steel body of the German vehicle writhed the undead body of Brodin.
Jennings reached for his Colt .45 automatic and primed it. Then with deliberate aim, the captain put a bullet into the chaplain's head.
"How many men are left?" Jennings asked Reynolds.
The sergeant snapped back to earth and looked around him. "Looks like about half a dozen. I still have my motorcycle, but it looks like we will have to walk from here."
"Okay, get the men..." before Captain Jennings could finish a mournful moan broke out from the jungle.
"Damn!" shouted the captain. Jennings ran back to the truck's cab and pulled something out. He returned to Sergeant Reynolds with a satchel.
"Take this and get on that bike. You have to make it to the beach. Make sure this gets to the Brass," Jennings said as he thrust the satchel into Reynolds arms.
"Sir," Reynolds started to protest.
"Dammit, Sergeant this is an order," Jennings said. The captain began gathering the wounded and stunned survivors. They started gathering rifles and prepared for the undead that would soon issue out from the woods.
Reynolds lifted his bike from the road and started it. Jennings looked over towards the sergeant while priming the Tommy gun still slung over his shoulder. "We'll hold them back. Get to the beach."
Reynolds revved the bike and tore off down the dirt road. It was not long before the jungle erupted into the sounds of rifles and a submachine guns. Occasionally, it was punctuated by the explosion of a grenade. The battle still raged as Reynolds reached the beach and pulled a raft out from its concealment.
As the raft motored out towards the dark silhouette of a submarine, Reynolds noticed that the sound of gunfire died off. The sergeant dropped his head in remorse before he heard the last sound of a Cold .45 fire a single shot.
Sergeant Reynolds was able to pass the material in the satchel over to his superiors. Upon studying the material, the military high command had the sergeant moved to a desk duty for the remainder of the war. Although the sergeant often told his tale of the raid on Na'h Tu Putalaki, the military denied such a raid ever existed and none believed Reynolds.
Nevertheless, the Army awarded the sergeant the Bronze Star Medal for his bravery. Despite this fact, Reynolds soon took to drinking once the war ended. One night in an alley behind a bar in a small Midwestern town, Sergeant Reynolds drank himself to death.
The US military continued their own secret research into the Uber-soldat formula. Of course, it was now given the English name of Super-soldier. For years, the research revealed nothing new. The men who volunteered all shared the results that befell the natives of Na'h Tu Putalaki. They became the reanimated dead unable to comprehend orders with an unquenchable appetite for the living. A simple bite was enough to spread the infection. There was no cure.
Therefore, the military buried its research in a vault. None ever spoke of the vault in public and only a top-secret document revealed the location and details of the vault. So, it sat for decades forgotten.
The island of Na'h Tu Putalaki became forbidden ground. The Army Air Corp warned B-29 pilots with damaged planes to ditch in the ocean and avoid the island at all costs. To disobey was punishable by death. After the end of the war, the army sent another group of soldiers to investigate the island. None ever returned.
The military spread the story that the island was the site of a super anthrax virus test to discourage the curious. Any unfortunate civilians who ever entered the island also never returned.
It was in the year 1946 that the island of Na'h Tu Putalaki became part of the US Pacific Proving Grounds. This was merely an excuse for the US to drop an atomic bomb on it in 1948.
As for the crew of the German U-boat that evacuated from Na'h Tu Putalaki official Nazis records are scant. There was a single message received by the Japanese a day after it left the submarine pen under the fortress. It simple said, "Plague ship, must scuttle."
It was in the 1980's during the final struggle of the Cold War that the military decided to resurrect the Super-soldier formula. A few new experiments were conducted and all met with disastrous results.
The Super-soldier formula, the military felt was too dangerous and they were ready to shelve the entire project. However, in the beginning of the twenty-first century an ambitious, desperate, and not entirely enlightened President ordered the renewal of the Super-soldier project.
This time it was hoped that with the help of ColTech pharmaceuticals that the Super-soldier formula would yield positive results. Under the guise of a treatment for Alzheimer's disease did the research take place.
Unfortunately, a group of animal activists from the University of Washington broke into the ColTech facility in Marysville, Washington. The group of radicals had hoped to free tormented test animals. Instead, the students found transient and homeless people tied to beds.
Appalled at what they witnessed the students quickly went to the task of freeing the human guinea pigs. Unknown to them the victims were all experiments for the Super-soldier formula and were long dead. The newly revived dead wasted no time in attacking their rescuers. A few students were able to escape from the lab, but undead had bitten everyone and in the rush to leave, a fire broke out trapping all inside the complex.
There the story would have ended if it were not for the quick response of the fire department. Again, the living dead attacked the rescuers and before long, the Pacific Northwest became a land of the dead.